How To Download Books From Google

If you want books, but don’t want to pay for them, there is a better way than walking into your local book store and pocketing them. Try grabbing them online, from Google!

Everyone must be aware of the Google Books Library project by now. If you’re not, it’s basically a way for Google to ensure all of the world’s book content is accessible and searchable. Through the Book Project, Google works with libraries to scan and archive their older and out of print materials. Up until recently, viewers of books in the Google Library Project web space were limited to viewing books within the browser. Not any more. Google Book Downloader is a utility that rips books from Google and saves them as PDFs so you can view them with any device or desktop that can view this file format. Using Microsoft’s .NET framework, the Google Book Downloader application allows users to enter a book’s ISBN number or Google link to pull up the desired book and begin a download, fishing off with exporting the file to a PDF. Full setup instructions and download are available on Codeplex.

78 thoughts on “How To Download Books From Google

  1. Because the application downloads only the “limited preview” pages of copyrighted books, which, much like the “look inside” feature on amazon, permits access only to pages that the publisher has agreed to make available, there is no “intellectual property theft” involved in using the application as outlined in the post above.

    The subject of intellectual property is a controversial one, and not everyone has the same values and beliefs.

    While I am not able to sit in judgment of anyone’s views, it is nevertheless amusing to note that while most people seem to be using the program as a convenient way to obtain owner-approved excerpts of books, those emitting outraged cries of “piracy” must be coming from individuals who have figured out a way to use the application to download copyrighted books in their entirety – information which is not contained in the hackaday post!

  2. Well well, surely there’s a whole heap of cheap moralists lurking out there…
    So all you can think about is “piracy”, “stealing” and “money”? Get a grip, seriously.

    The main point is that if you have a good library near home, then you can read whatever you want for free, while if you live only god knows where, you can’t. If this were a way to correct this inequality, it would just be perfect.
    Who can seriously think this is like stealing?
    It’s just about being able to have access to knowledge.

    And what about research work? When you just have to skim through dozens of books in order to find what you really need for your work? Should one spend thousands of dollars in order to buy them all?

    Pity that this won’t sit well with authors and copyright-mongers, and will surely hinder google’s cataloguing effort (and thus be countered in no time), but the founding principle is absolutely correct: knowledge shouldn’t be considered a base commodity.
    This ain’t piracy, it’s a pale reflection of what the norm should be. Knowledge isn’t just power, but is also at the base of REAL democracy.

  3. anyone know if the source code for google book downloader is available anywhere? it’d be nice to be able to adjust it, now that it’s been shut down on codeplex.

  4. Does anybody know of a similar program that works for amazon book previews? I find that many times google and amazon each have roughly half the book, and it’s rather annoying having to jump back and forth between the sites to read the whole thing. I’d be pretty thrilled if I could download all of amazon’s available pages as well, so I could easily read the whole book.

  5. This is really idiot idea!
    If every one try to download Google books then definitely Google will be close Google book service. Its a online service. Don’t do it! Don’t lost big opportunity.

  6. Not one of the links I tried from this article worked. Not one! The setup and Library Project took me to the wrong pages and the Downloader took me to a general download page that DID NOT contain a google book downloader.

    1. I really like that idea, I would not mind only having access to an E-book for a limited amount of time, say a week or two, just as long as I can “Check it out” again. Just as long as they don’t decide to charge for it! If they start charging then it will fail, people in today’s world are poor, the only ones getting rich are those that had money to begin with. takes money to make money! and most of us do not have that. Btw, this no longer works.

  7. I am a bit peeved that Google watermarks scans even of completely 100% public domain books, thus taking “ownership” of the scans. It is of course nice of Google to do it at all (and we all know Google didn’t have an easy time implementing this) and it would be a nonissue if it were not a sort of dumping: by Google having already done the scans, they discourage anyone else to produce a true Libre version, with no watermark – the perceived need is less once there is a Google version. Gutenberg does some of the same, by mandating their legalese to be part of everything. Oh well.

    1. Well, IIRC technically their scan is copyright Google, though the book itself is not. Same with Gutenberg, the copyright to the transcription belongs to them. Likewise a book containing the works of Shakespeare, the book itself and any commentary is under copyright, though the plays are not.

      It’s like a recording of classical music. The symphony may be two hundred years old, but the recording itself is covered under copyright separately.

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